National Gallery Australia

The problem with 'Australia'

So I went to the press preview for 'Australia' at the Royal Academy on Tuesday. I'm writing a review for Artlink and for a couple of weeks now I've been worried my instincts (that it would be disappointing, conservative, terrible... that my snobbery and cultural bias would cloud my objectivity...) would get in the way of me looking at the show with an open mind.

And so I tried. And I failed. Because it really isn't great. Does it warrant the casual racism and vitriol dressed as criticism it's receiving in the British press? Well, no.  But it's not great. It's not even very good. I'm going to need to let my thoughts marinate for a while yet in the hope that something by way of coherent argument emerges. Because right now it's just an exasperated mash of frustrations.

I can't believe this is the same institution that hosted the seminal Sensation back in 1997I mean, where's all that curatorial chutzpah gone?

What a missed opportunity. National Gallery of Australia, I'm blaming you too.

 

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